Two Armchairs (fauteuills à la reine) and Two Side Chairs (chaises à la reine)

Object Details

Title:

Two Armchairs (fauteuills à la reine) and Two Side Chairs (chaises à la reine)

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1735–1740

Medium:

Gessoed and gilded beech; modern silk upholstery

Object Number:

82.DA.95

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Using an upholstery method known as à chassis, the chair maker made the comfortably padded backs, seats, and arms of these chairs easily removable. The servants of the chairs' owner would have changed the fabric on the cushions with the seasons of the year, using a heavy damask or tapestry in the winter and replacing it with a lighter-colored silk in the spring. A brief announcement in the newspaper informed the fashion-conscious inhabitants of 1700s Paris when to change their furniture coverings. On June 11, 1759, for example, the weekly newspaper announced that the winter furniture coverings in the king's apartments at Versailles had just been replaced by the summer ones.

Scholars do not know the maker of these chairs, as they were made in the 1730s, before the practice of stamping furniture with the name of the carver became a requirement of the guild. Although the chairs have modern silk upholstery, the original gilded surface of the wood has survived. It was preserved under numerous layers of later gilding, which were laboriously removed by conservators.

Related Works
Provenance
mid-18th century - 1979

possibly Private Collection (England), sold to William Redford, 1979.
Source: Correspondence with William Redford, July 21, 1982, in the files of the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, J. Paul Getty Museum.

1979

William Redford (London, England), sold to Alexander Berendt Ltd., 1979.

1979 - 1982

Alexander & Berendt Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1982.

Bibliography

Wilson, Gillian, Adrian Sassoon, and Charissa Bremer-David. "Acquisitions Made by the Department of Decorative Arts in 1982." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 11 (1983), pp. 28-33, no. 4.

"Principales acquisitions des musées en 1982." La Chronique des Arts: Supplément à la Gazette des Beaux-Arts 1370 (March 1983), p. 198, no. 199.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 156.

Pallot, Bill G. B. L'Art du siège au XVIIIe siècle en France (Paris: ACR-Gismondi Éditeurs, 1987), p. 102, ill.

Pallot, Bill G. B. The Art of the Chair in Eighteenth-Century France (Paris: ACR-Gismondi Éditeurs, 1989), p. 102, ill.

Considine, Brian. "Damaged Giltwood: A Change in Ethics." Apollo 130, no. 333 (November 1989), p. 314, fig. 4.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 171.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), pp. 64-65, no. 93.

Auslander, Leora. Taste and Power: Furnishing Modern France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 175-176, fig. 34.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 201.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 48, no. 90.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 222, ill.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Looking at French Decorative Arts: Appropriate and Innovate

Students will learn the term appropriation, the contemporary art practice of borrowing elements to create a new work of art.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts

3-5

Single Class Lesson